Thursday, August 19, 2010

10 ways to Support your Best Customers-9

Continuing this series from Inc:

10 Ways to Support Your Best Customers

Every company is in the service industry, right? Expert pointers for how to best perform for your best accounts.

By Inc. Staff |
Even if you're not in the customer service business, there's one clear way to please your customers: act like serving them is your first priority. We've compiled tips from expert interviews and articles that have appeared in Inc. and on to find the most poignant pointers for pleasing your most valuable customers.

9. Add value to your relationship.

Even if you planned for the possibility, no one wants to lose big clients. So, how do you make sure they hang around for as long as possible? Big companies are looking for value, says Constance Bagley, a professor at Yale School of Management. Figure out your client's immediate concerns. "Make sure the information is flowing both ways," she says. "What info can you bring them about their costs and competitors? Have your account manager talk to their counterpart; have your salespeople talk to their R&D." Erin Enriquez, who manages a Red Bull account for Terralever, says with Red Bull the company focused on the client's desire to be perceived as technologically forward in its online marketing. "The No. 1 thing is to be aware of the competition and what they're doing, and what new types of technologies are out there," says Enriquez. "Red Bull appreciates us coming to them and pitching them and usually agrees to let us do a portion of that work." Plus, once you have that competitive insight, you can use it to attract new clients – especially if your contract isn't exclusive. "It's a lot like high school dating," says Bagley. "Nothing makes you more desirable than the fact that someone else wants you." Read more.

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